By Michelle Graff
Kama Schachter Managing Director Colin Shah, left, is the new chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council while Vipul Shah, right, will serve as vice chairman.
Mumbai—The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, the governmental body that supports the diamond and jewelry trade in India, announced this week it has new leadership.

On Tuesday, GJPEC Vice Chairman Colin Shah succeeded Pramod Kumar Agrawal as chairman, and council members unanimously elected Vipul Shah as vice chairman.

Both men will serve two-year terms.

Colin is the managing director of Kama Schachter Jewelry Pvt. Ltd., which ranks among the top 10 diamond jewelry manufacturers in Asia.

He is active with the GJPEC, the SEEPZ Gem and Jewelry Manufacturers Association, the Young President Organization and the Entrepreneurs Organization.

The company is RJC certified and BPP compliant, and is one of the only diamond manufacturers at which women make up 50 percent of the workforce.

Vipul, meanwhile, is the CEO and managing director of Asian Star Co. Ltd., one of the country’s largest diamond companies. He previously served as GJEPC chairman, from October 2012 to September 2015.

Both Colin and Vipul noted their terms begin at a challenging, uncertain time due to COVID-19, which has dampened consumer demand for diamonds worldwide and hobbled the world’s major trading hubs.

In India, polished diamond exports were down 80 percent year-over-year in April and May.

Colin said policies that make doing business easier, the availability of bank financing—a major issue right now for the midstream sector of the diamond pipeline—and leveraging e-commerce for trade and business are among the priorities for the GJEPC right now.

“The new term at GJEPC starts amid acute uncertainties due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in India and the world over. It demands a paradigm shift for the industry,” he said.

“The council is focusing towards recalibrating itself by digitalization across verticals, exploring new ways of reaching customers and unconventional ways of creating demand for gems and jewelry.”

Others elected to serve the GJPEC for the 2020-2022 terms were as follows:
Ashok Gajera (regional chairman-west);
Prakash Pincha (regional chairman-east),
Nirmal Bardiya (regional chairman-Rajasthan);
Dinesh Navadiya (regional chairman-Gujarat);
Mahender Tayal (regional chairman-south); and
Ashok Seth (regional chairman-north).

Sanjay Shah, Dilip Shah, Milan Chokshi, Russell Mehta, Sanju Kothari, Chirag Lakhi, Anil Virani and Manish Jiwani were appointed to the Diamond Panel, while Shailesh Sangani, K. Srinivasan, Mansukh Kothari and Suvankar Sen will serve on the Gold Jewelry & Other Precious Metals Jewelry Panel.

Mahendra Agarwal and Vijay Kedia were appointed to the Colored Gemstones & Pearls Panel while Ram Babu Gupta will serve on the Silver Panel and Badrinarayanan Gupta on the Sales to Foreign Tourist Panel.

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